Rep. Grijalva Joins Smith, Finchem, Leach In Opposition To I-11 In Avra Valley

District 3 Congressman Raul Grijalva has publically come out in opposition to building a new highway, Interstate 11, in the Avra Valley west of Tucson.  In comments submitted to the Arizona Dept. of Transportation’s I-11 Study Team, Grijalva expressed support for transportation corridors along Interstates 10 and 19, saying this option would “most benefit” Tucson and the Pima County metro region.  He noted that the Avra Valley alternative options would have “a negative impact on dark skies, wilderness values, and quality of life for residents of that community.”

The Congressman echoed criticisms of an Avra Valley I-11 route that the Avra Valley Coalition has been making since it first surfaced as the “I-10 Bypass” ten years ago, with a subsequent route laid out and championed by Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry in 2013.

Grijalva joins LD 11 State Representatives Mark Finchem and Vince Leach, and State Senator Steve Smith, in criticizing an Avra Valley route, along with the City of Tucson, Arizona Game & Fish Dept., National Park Service, US Bureau of Land Management, US Bureau of Reclamation, Environmental Protection Agency, Friends of Ironwood National Monument, Sierra Club, Coalition for Sonoran Desert Protection, and many more.

Over a thousand comments from Avra Valley-area residents were submitted during this phase of the I-11 study process, virtually all opposing a new highway through their homeland.  Contrary to Huckelberry’s championing of the Avra Valley route, the Pima County Board of Supervisors is on record in Resolution 2007-343 opposing “any new highways in or around the County that have the stated purpose of bypassing the existing Interstate 10 as it is believed that the environmental, historic, archaeological and urban form impacts could not be adequately mitigated.”

I-11 Study Project Manager Jay Van Echo had scheduled to be the guest speaker at the monthly Citizens for Picture Rocks meeting, Tuesday, June  20, 6:30 p.m. at the Picture Rocks Community Center, 5615 N. Sanders Road.  He has since cancelled that event.

Opponents from the Avra Valley Coalition and National Parks Conservation Association spoke at the community group’s May meeting.  Meetings are open to all without charge.

Rep. Grijalva’s statement is below:

20 Comments on "Rep. Grijalva Joins Smith, Finchem, Leach In Opposition To I-11 In Avra Valley"

  1. No-one knows better how to use the power of government to keep the populace in poverty than Raul ‘MEChA’ Grijalva.

    Make Tucson Mexico Again, they have better roads than we do!

  2. My, my, what is Don Diamond to do. No Avra Valley route, not Sonoran Corridor for Swan Southlands. Don’t worry Don, you buddy Chuck will come up with something for you on the taxpayers dime.

  3. Jose Dominguez Gonarhea-Sanchez | June 19, 2017 at 5:17 am | Reply

    Graftjulva is most likely just upset he hasn’t bought enough land in the path of the highway to be on par with the other lucky few dozen of the Dingleberry insiders club.
    If his lips are moving, it’s nothing but expensive lies.

  4. Commies (Grijalva et. al) and Conservatives
    (Leach, Smith, Finchem) agreeing?

    There must be a disturbance in the force.
    Don’t worry. Darth Huckleberry will
    rally the Storm Troopers. (Diamond, et. al.)

  5. This is the rarest of times….that on this issue I am siding 100% with Grijalva. Wonders never cease? I-11 is a nightmarish plan to anyone who values the peace and still relatively unspoiled solitude of Avra Valley.

  6. To What, Again….
    Please cite which specific Mexican roads upon which you have personally driven that you consider to be better than U.S. roads.

    • Take your pick in Nogales and compare to stretch of Broadway between Camino Seco and Harrison. Or how about the stretch of Valencia from Kolb Rd west.

      Those like you arguing against progress, development and the resulting prosperity touting “anyone who values…” BS are the reason Tucson is 5th poorest in the country and always will be.

      No growth (you) means no jobs and no future. It’s proven. You no growthers have killed Tucson.

    • David Thompson | June 19, 2017 at 11:43 am | Reply

      Bill have you driven on any roads in District 1 (northwest Tucson & Marana)

  7. Tucson-Phoenix LightRailProponent | June 19, 2017 at 4:38 pm | Reply

    An hourly scheduled light rail commuter train running parallel in the existing easement of the existing I-10 corridor would be far more useful and needed to the residents of AZ.
    Repair and replacement of our existing Pima County roadways HAS TO take precedence over any I-11 real-estate speculators’ fantasy roadway.
    This proposed I-11 nonsense is simply unnecessary unless you happen to be a group of invested land speculators with a politically connected lobbying firm looking for another way to divert more of our limited taxpayer dollars.

    • Dumb, dumb and dumber of an idea. There would be no riders. Tucsonans for the most part hate Phoenix and very few in Phoenix even know Tucson exists. The only passengers would be those shuttling to Sky Harbor. Tucson is nothing more than a stretch of congested I-10 that commercial transportation has to slog thru to the rest of the country. No reason to come here, lots of reasons to leave.

      • Just Sayin.... | June 20, 2017 at 7:05 am | Reply

        Raul apparently couldn’t negotiate his cut of the morditas to his satisfaction. And now is in opposition to the corridor. No surprise. That is how politics works in Mexico. Where his real constitutes reside.

  8. Tucson-Phoenix LightRailProponent | June 21, 2017 at 10:25 am | Reply

    To: “What Again”,
    “What Again” was your transportation suggestion/contribution or positive/creative solution to this argument?

    I, for one (and probably one of many) would look forward to being able to purchase a 12.50 each way light rail ticket from Tucson to Sky Harbor to save 200 of more on a plane ticket.
    A solar panel/battery backup aluminum railcar design would pay for itself in much the way as many proven public solar projects already do. Might you represent I-11 real estate holders, shuttle bus owners, or their PR/lobbyist firms?
    The only dumb idea here is to continue failing to serve our taxpayers. We MUST improve/maintain the EXISTING roads and propose self-funding transportation using the EXISTING easements (already funded by the EXISTING taxes).

    • Do you know why you are paying $200 for the air trip to Phoenix? Answer – liberal ex mayor Tom Volgy who gave away exclusive rights to the route – another harebrained liberal idea.

      I’m sure you would love to pay $12.50 for the ride. Whom to you propose pay the rest of at least $100 subsidy because there are no riders to pay for it?

      Maybe you could provide some actual facts of your proposal. Rail service to Phoenix has been proposed many times – all with the same conclusion – not enough riders. No-one from Phoenix wants or needs to come to Tucson and the Mexican nationals that convoy their street findings from Phoenix won’t be on the train nor will the commercial traffic.

  9. light rail, they have already looked at a rail service to east la and found it not viable. On that end there would not be a stop at the airport and then no infrastructure to get ya there! They did propose a car train for up there so you drive your own car once there. But again no real interest. $12.50 isn’t that what it costs to ride the local trolley that goes no where? Here to east la for that price they would be broke in the 1st month and back on the taxpayers tit to survive.

  10. Tucson-Phoenix LightRailProponent | June 21, 2017 at 11:05 am | Reply

    Hank, thank you for your reply.
    -only proposing a rail route from Tucson to Phoenix Sky Harbor/downtown. (not la)
    -doubt the la study considered using the paid-for existing highway/railway easements
    -doubt the la study considered a self-solar/battery propelled lightweight rail car
    -CA residents currently have more transportation alternatives than those in AZ
    -there is no comparison to the no-where trolley, TUS and PHX are major destinations
    -solar pays for itself and then some, indisputable evidence now on many rooftops
    Taxpayers need to have their monies go to work on the roads they already travel and pay for, and any new transportation projects need to be self-funding (like my proposal) and be designed to eventually reduce the tax burden while serving the public interest.

  11. To:Tucson-Phoenix LightRailProponent

    your snide comment – “was your transportation suggestion/contribution or positive/creative solution to this argument?”

    You are the one with the negative solution, you are the obstructionist against progress. The solution is approved everywhere else along the entire route in the country – except for Tucson where no-growthers and obstructionist try to slow the world to their level of incompetence and decay. Build this highway, and a few more for good measure!

  12. Mr Grijalva wants elected officials to listen to the voters? You must be kidding right? The majority of people did not want or need their health care destroyed to satisfy the supposed 10 percent of uninsureds. You didn’t listen. The majority of people want our borders secured and you didn’t listen. American majorities oppose tax payer ( governement) funding of abortions.

    Did you listen to them?

  13. East la is phoenix, or they in LA are west phoenix since they are so similar to each other!

    yes they looked at all that you mention except maybe the solar scam. The rail lines are not open for such a service. The problem also rises in who is to pay for this? If such a great idea why are no private sectors trying to get in on it? Like the colorado canal and maybe the bypass the only money to be made is by the folks SELLING the right of way lands, or by benefiting by the use of the taxpayers to build so they have access!

    And the lines were not to go to the airport as I mentioned, not enough traffic to justify the costs. Maybe if more were to use tia then the costs for flights would drop? But that wont happen because there is no real destination here, only there and thats anyplace but tucson. i cant remember how many airlines have come and gone because of non use by the locals even the little commuter guys!

    ya see they wanted to try and make tucson a bedroom community for phoenix, but there are no jobs here to attract traffic this direction again lack of demand for such a service would dry it up, much like tia.

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